Jesus Denounces Scribes and Pharisees

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Saturday In The Twentieth Week In Ordinary Time

Matthew 23:1-12

 

Each and every religion has its own teaching of faith. Accordingly they have teachers, pandits and gurus to teach their community. Similarly. the Jewish community had Rabbi’s who taught and explained the Law of Moses. The Rabbis interpret Jewish Laws and tradition and conduct religious services on the sabbath day, thus they put themselves in the position of (seated on the Moses seat) of Moses, to lead Israel spiritually. Most often the strict religious group called the Pharisees. These demanded that everyone adhere to the regulations of the Law and Tradition, but they failed because they looked at these like mathematics. 1 + 1 = 2. Another word to describe the same is legalistically. But these failed to realise the way God related to Israel personally; through Mercy, love, steadfastness, covenantally, faithfully etc… This was the first failing of these teachers of the Law. the Next was, that they themselves were not able to honour it legalistically, yet they demanded that everyone adhere to the Law strictly, even to the pain of death. Hence Jesus asked his disciples to observe the law but not follow the practice of Rabbi 

Understanding the base rules is of primary importance in our religion and faith. Each and every children has to be rooted in the teachings of Christ, so that when they grown up, they are able to identify between true and false teachings, and be swayed by every eye catching philosophy. Basic faith is built up in children when we answer their questions and give clarity to their confusion. Else they will fall prey to false and wayward teaching / ideologies in the world around us. Few years back, many Catholics started to migrate to other Churches, because they were ignorant of their Catholic Faith, nor did they have a grasp of True Biblical Understanding. The Catholic Church follows both the Tradition and Scripture, whereas our brethren from other Churches only place importance to the Bible (thus undermining their own roots), and their incomplete understanding, makes them challenge our own understanding of the the sacraments like Baptism, confession, Eucharist. Catholics who are ignorant stumble at these questions and easily accept their ideologies as completely correct and join their communities.

In today’s world people are easily attracted by shortcut teachings, which in turn come from misinterpreting the language and message of bible. A bird swan can separate milk from water and drink only milk, similarly, we too should learn to separate the teaching of Christ and against the Unity and Love of Christ. Everything else is false, half-baked and incomplete. A person who has authority to teach should be a responsible person, and should be focused to bring a believer closer to God, by showing his own relationship with Jesus, to them. There is no place in Christ, therefore in the Church for any form of disunity and division in the Church. In the early church, all the Apostles served God without any discrimination and never sought any fame. Each apostle focused on his own call, and sacrificed his life for the sake of Christ. And God exalted them, by making the Christian Faith come from their witness to Jesus Suffering, Death, resurrection and Ascension. The Apostles’ lifestyle even in todays world, brings about a change in human life, specially for youth. I am personally impressed by St. Paul, and in the way he bore witness to the good news among Jews and Gentiles alike with his zeal for Christ.

Through todays gospel Jesus invites us to be remain humble in whatever position we are in Church or in secular society. All are God’s children and we all are equally responsible to bear witness to Jesus the Christ, through our words, deed and actions. Let us pray we be this type of Christians.

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